Friday, March 13, 2009

The Curse of the Pink Sweater

Ok, so while we were in Key West my mother and I stumbled on a little yarn store (fine, I looked for one online before we got off the ship, no judging, lol) and since my mother had fallen in love with my sweater she decided to buy some yarn for one of her own. I was thrilled that the owner even printed out a copy of the pattern for me so I could start right away. We got back on the ship and I immediatly cast on a gauge swatch so this thing would fit my mother. I had carefully measured her chest circumference and noted that it was the size small. Which, no offense mom, seemed a bit odd. My mother is not a large woman by any chance, but I was thinking more of the medium route for her. Anyway, I decide to let the gauge swatch decide and so began on size 8 needles. Swatch was odd, nothing seemed to match up, but I figured whats life without a little risk and cast on the size small on size 8 needles. Knit all the way through all of the increases with no issues, but did happen to note that maybe the buttonholes weren't going to work out the way they had with mine. There wasn't going to be enough garter stitch top to have 3 buttonholes (which really should have been my first clue). Ignored it, and decided to try it on mom anyway....lets just say that the sweater hit the frog pond going 100 mph. It wasn't even close, heck, it wasn't even close to being close. I decided medium size on an upsized needles would work. Cast on for 2nd attempt, misread 3 rows for 3 ridges (actually 6 rows)...frog again. Cast on for 3rd attempt, knit along perfectly happy for about 3 inches. Begin thinking about button colors....realize that button holes are kind of important to the presence of buttons, frog again. Cast on for 4th (and hopefully final) attempt. So far so good, we're clipping along at a good pace, am getting to the point now where I need to measure the progress against mom to make sure it'll fit. Fingers crossed all, I don't think I can take another disappointment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Year Older

Today is my 23rd birthday and has been one of the best birthdays I can remember. My good friend kidnapped me for the day and took me to the local science musuem to see the Bodies exhibit (which I would show you, but cameras are a HUGE no no). It was interesting and fun, but we had her infant daughter with us (the recepient of most of the latest knitwear produced over here) and she wasn't as impressed with the display and decided to voice a complaint very loudly about halfway through. So we took turns soothing and trying to get the most out of the thing while trying not to make eye contact with the many older citizens. Many of whom just moments before had commented on how beautiful she is and now looked about ready to kill us both. Oh well, was still fun. Went out to lunch afterwards and then I trekked home. No knitting accomplished today unfortunately, but boy do I have a story about moms pink sweater (I think its cursed) but that will have to wait for tomorrow.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Flaming out on Re entry

Ahhh, nothing like leaving on vacation and knowing that you don't have to do anything but relax for a whole week, except coming home and sleeping in your own bed...

And there is where we were all of last week, the Disney Magic. Gorgeous ship, great food, great people, great time....glad to be home anyway.

And here we both are with the ship, the color of the water still amazes me, looks fake doesn't it?
We did the Western Caribbean, Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay (Disney's private island). I managed to finish my sweater in time and actually wore it on the first day on board. Its kind of a crappy picture, but its the best I've got with the sweater actually on. And I was right, my mom loves it so much that she decided that she just has to have one of her own. I enjoyed knitting it so much that I told her if she bought the yarn I'll make the sweater. Guess I better watch what I promise because I found the yarn store of Key West (and some great sock yarn) and she found some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for a February Lady of her very own. She wants it with the sleeves though, so that will make it different and interesting.
Here is the fledgling sweater with the blanket lobster provided by the awesome gentleman in charge of keeping the room tidy. Had some gauge issues at first, knit a swatch with size 9 needles like mine was and gauge was waaaay off, like into outer space off, this wasn't going to be a sweater, it was going to be a house cozy. So I switched to 8's, still way off, but in the other direction, now it was going to be a sweater fit for an infant... Blocking the swatches seemed to help the smaller one expand, but not enough, so I decided to remember that gauge swatches often lie and go with the smaller of the 2 needles (swatch? What swatch? I don't see a swatch anywhere...) Here it is reaxing on deck in one of the comfy old school loungers. This is one spoiled sweater folks, in its young life its traveled to all of the islands we visited, seen 3 broadway style theater shows and been to 2 movies, one of which is still in theaters on land. Its gotten to relax on deck and at the beach at Castaway Cay...its going to be disappointed when it realizes I don't always live that way.
Speaking of Castaway Cay here are some cool pictures we took with the underwater camera:
Here we are getting ready to take the plunge to go snorkeling in the shockingly cold water.
And here we are under the sea with Mickey in the Castaway Cay lagoon. It was Brian's first time really diving like this so he had to experiment a bit before he got it, but it finally clicked.
Taking a quick rest with the ship in the background. Snorkeling is seriously good leg exercise, but I got a really bad muscle spasm halfway back to shore and ended up taking off my left flipper. Ever try to swim with only one flipper? It makes you feel so lopsided, so I ended up ditching both and trying to swim in without them...which didn't go well. Thankfully the water isn't deep once you get past a certain point, and also thankfully I was past it. Unfortunately most of the ocean floor on the way in is covered in thick, slimey sea grass, and I seriously hate sea grass. So in a moment of serious personal growth I ended up walking back through this virtual forest of sea grass in my bare feet! Only losing my cool for about half of the time, not bad considering.
To make a long story short, we had a ball, but are glad to be back home. Where you can flush the toilet in the middle of the night and not worry about waking the planet (it seems stupid, but the on board toilets sound like jet engines taking off) and having a real shower that isn't the size of a postage stamp. Now if only the room would stop rocking.....